Mental Health FAQ

I think my family member needs help. How can I get help for him/her?
This can be one of the most difficult and stressful situations anyone ever deals with. Express your concern honestly and directly. Talk about events and behaviors rather than making judgments. You might say for example, “I am really worried about you because you have not slept in three days” or, “I was really scared last night when you got angry and threw the book across the room.” Tell him/her that you want them to get help and offer to go along to the first appointment. You can always contact the Crisis Line at 1-800-392-8343 to discuss your concerns.

Is the Crisis Line a substitute for counseling or therapy?
No. Individual or group therapy with a licensed professional is the most effective way to learn to deal with long-term, ongoing or repetitive problems. The Crisis Line counselors can refer you to appropriate agencies for counseling or therapy.

What are the Crisis Line’s hours?
Burke’s 1-800-392-8343 Crisis Line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A friend has talked about suicide. How do I know if I should take him/her seriously?

Call Burke’s 1-800-392-8343 Crisis Line to discuss your concern about your friend or family member. Take every comment about suicide seriously. Sometimes people state very directly that they are thinking about killing themselves and sometimes they drop hints that they are thinking about suicide. A person might say, “My family would be better off if I were dead,” “Nobody would even care if I was gone,” “Sometimes I just can’t take it anymore,”…. Ask the person directly if he or she is thinking about suicide. Ask about the plan – the more specific the plan, the more likely it is a person will attempt suicide. A person who has attempted suicide in the past is more likely to attempt again. For more tips on talking with a person who is considering suicide, visit the websites of the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and/or the Mental Health America of Texas for a Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Texas Communities.

How long does it take to access Mental Health Services?

Establishment of eligibility is required before a person may receive any service. Providing Burke with previously documented evidence of a qualifying diagnosis (i.e., schizophrenia, mood disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, related condition) will expedite service entry. Once this information is obtained, it generally takes no more than a few weeks to access services.

I’ve heard the waiting lists for Mental Health Services are extremely long. Is this true?

The wait time varies depending upon the service. Each program will have specific information regarding wait times. Good preparation is always prudent. Discuss your future needs with family and other advocates and determine when is the right time to get on a waiting list.

Developmental Disability FAQ
My child has always been a little behind, but I’m not sure if he has intellectual and developmental disability. What is Developmental Disability exactly?
Developmental disabilities are not the same as learning disabilities. A diagnosis of developmental disability may be given if all three of the following criteria are met:

  • There is significantly sub-average intellectual functioning (an IQ of 70 or below)
  • There are concurrent deficits or impairments in adaptive functioning
  • The conditions occur before age 18 years.

Can a person diagnosed with autism receive services?
Yes. Autism is one of the pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) that are included in our served priority population. Others include Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

Is there a cost for any of the services?
There are fees associated with most services. Some are assessed using a sliding scale. Every person served is assessed for the portion of the fee for which they are responsible. Responsibility includes that portion of the fee not covered by insurance. Minors are not assessed a fee, however, the fee is assessed based upon the family income. At age 18, any person receiving services will be assessed based on their income (if any) only.

What are the hours of operation?
This varies with each program. All residential programs operate 24 hours. The administrative offices operate under a standard business day (Monday –Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Some locations may have extended hours. Intake is available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. A Crisis Line (1-800-392-8343) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies.

How long does it take to access Developmental Disability services?
Establishment of eligibility is required before a person may receive any service. Providing Burke with previously documented evidence of a qualifying diagnosis (i.e., mental retardation, autism, PDD, related condition) will expedite service entry. Once this information is obtained, it generally takes no more than a few weeks to access services.

I completed an intake for Developmental Disability services and was asked to submit school records. I’ve collected a lot of information over the years.Do you want all of it? I’m not sure I know what you need.
We do not need general ARD reports. We DO need a document known as the Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) also known as the Comprehensive Individual Evaluation (CIA). This document will give us the intellectual and adaptive functioning information that we need in order to determine eligibility.

I’ve heard the waiting lists for Developmental Disability services are extremely long. Is this true?
The wait time varies depending upon the service. Each program will have specific information regarding wait times. Good preparation is key. Discuss your future needs with family and other advocates and determine when is the right time to get on a waiting list.

How do I sign up/register for vocational/ employment services?
A person must be eligible for services by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • determination of Developmental Disability
  • eligible for Value Options requirements
  • eligible for Texas Rehabilitation Commission Services

What jobs are available for people with disabilities?
Like anyone else, people with disabilities seek jobs that will match their abilities and interest. Therefore, the employment selection is up to each individual and his/her realistic opportunities and skills.

Will I lose my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid if I go to work?
A reduction of the SSI check may occur if hours worked are above the minimum allowed by the law. This is calculated on a case-by-case basis. For more information see www.ssa.gov

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) FAQ

What is Burke ECI?
ECI is an early childhood intervention program that helps families who have children birth through three years of age overcome difficulties in the areas of early development. Together, parents and staff work to improve the child’s physical, cognitive, social, and adaptive development in an effort to build a stronger foundation for the child’s future.

Who is eligible for ECI services?
Burke provides ECI services for children who live in Burke’s service area: Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler counties. Burke ECI staff determine eligibility for children under 3 based on:

  • Developmental Delay: children who are delayed in one or more areas of development.
  • Atypical development: children who perform within their appropriate age range on test instruments, but whose patterns of development are different from their peers.
  • Medically diagnosed condition: children who have a medically diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delays.

Where are Burke ECI services provided and how much does it cost?
Services are provided in the child’s natural environment, such as home, daycare, etc. Evaluations are provided at no cost to families, regardless of income. For services, families may pay a cost based on family size and adjusted income after allowable deductions.

When should Burke ECI be called?
There are several “signs” that a child may need ECI services, including:

  • If a baby was premature and weighed less than 3 1/2 pounds.
  • If a child is 3 months old and cannot follow objects with eyes; grasp rattles or hair; or respond to loud noises.
  • If a child is 6 months old and cannot roll over (both ways); sit with minimum support; or babble.
  • If a child is 12 months old and cannot say 1 to 2 words; crawl on hands and knees; or pull up to a standing position.
  • If a child is 18 months old and cannot step off low objects and keep balance; follow simple directions; and feed him or herself sometimes.
  • If a child is 2 years old and cannot use 2 to 3 word sentences; identify hair, eyes and nose; or run short distances without falling.

How long can children receive ECI services?
Children are dismissed from Burke ECI services when:

  • a child reaches developmental proficiency, which is determined by comprehensive development inventory or standardized test;
  • no longer exhibits atypical development; or
  • if the symptoms of the medical diagnosis are resolved and the child and the family do not demonstrate a need for ECI services.

How can a child be referred to Burke ECI?
Anyone can refer a child to Burke ECI by calling toll-free 1-877-205-3630. You can download an individual referral form for ECI services here. If you are with a physician’s office, please use the physician referral form, which can be found here.